Bellator 170: Ortiz vs. Sonnen will take place on January 21, 2017, at The Forum in Inglewood, California. The event will air live on Spike TV following the preliminary card on MMA Mad.
In the main event, Tito Ortiz (18-12-1) and Chael Sonnen (28-14-1) will return to action inside the beautifully renovated Forum in Inglewood, Calif., to headline “Bellator 170: Ortiz vs. Sonnen.” In college, the two met on the wrestling mat, in a matchup that Sonnen won by pinning Ortiz on his birthday. Now, Ortiz will have the opportunity to avenge that loss when the compete in the Bellator MMA cage
Since shocking the MMA community with his surprise signing with Bellator MMA last month, Sonnen has made it clear he wants to fight anyone and everyone – regardless of weight class, or anything else that could stand in his way. Sitting atop that list is a name that has sat atop the sport of MMA practically since its inception, Tito Ortiz.
Not one to shy away from any sort of challenge, “The Huntington Beach Bad Boy” wasted zero time welcoming “The American Gangster” to the fray as only he can, by responding to Sonnen’s call-out with open arms on his social media account.
Sonnen spent a vast majority of his 43-fight career with the UFC, a run where he competed against names the likes of Jon Jones, Anderson Silva (2x), Rashad Evans, “Shogun” Rua, Demian Maia, Brian Stann, and current middleweight champion Michael Bisping. In addition to his exploits inside the cage, the West Linn, Ore., native has mastered the art of being in front of the camera, doing major broadcasting work for both ESPN and Fox Sports. Now, after a three-year hiatus from active MMA competition, Sonnen looks to add to his impressive resume by defeating Ortiz.
Known to the masses as “The Huntington Beach Bad Boy” or “The People’s Champion” Tito Ortiz is a fan-favorite all over the world. The former UFC Light Heavyweight Champion has always been one of the toughest competitors in the cage, utilizing his wrestling background; Ortiz is a grinder who defended his title an impressive five times. Always with a flair for the dramatic, Ortiz had intense rivalries in the cage with guys like Ken Shamrock, Chuck Liddell, Wanderlei Silva, and Randy Couture. Most recently, Ortiz challenged current Bellator MMA 205-pound champion Liam McGeary at “Bellator: Dynamite 1.”
A welterweight showdown pitting Paul Daley (38-14-2) against Brennan Ward (14-4) will feature as the co-main event on the card.
A 54-fight veteran of MMA Daley will now prepare to take on surging superstar Brennan Ward. A former member of the British Army, the 33-year-old “Semtex” competed for multiple promotions including Strikeforce and UFC before joining the Bellator MMA fray in 2012. Since then, Daley has made five appearances under the direction of the Scott Coker-led promotion, tallying four wins and a trio of fantastic knockouts.
Hailing from Nottingham, England, the British phenom has recorded victories in nine of his last 11 bouts, and took current welterweight champion Douglas Lima to the limit in their last meeting. The former Cage Rage Welterweight Champion is known for his ruthless power and innate ability to end fights early, as 30 of his 38 career wins have resulted in a finish.
Ward enters the contest following a brutal knockout blow that he delivered just 1:26 into his bout with Saad Awad at “Bellator 163: McGeary vs. Davis.” The win was Ward’s ninth under the direction of Bellator MMA and fifth of his last six fights, dating back to 2015. A native of New London, Conn., “Irish” Ward seems to always deliver in front of his hometown fans at Mohegan Sun Arena, collecting five victories inside the venue, including four knockouts. Now, Ward takes his talents out West.
The former NCAA All-American is widely regarded as one of the most feared brawlers in the welterweight division, as the 28-year-old has finished his opponent in 13 of his 14 career victories. Ward is now slated to tangle with another feared striker in Daley in a bout that hardcore fight fans won’t want to miss.
A middleweight bout featuring the Bellator MMA debut of Los Angeleno Ralek Gracie (3-0), and Hisaki Kato (7-2) also takes place on the main card.
At only 22, Ralek made his MMA debut in Japan, where he defeated his opponent, Kastuyori Shibata with a devastating armbar. Nearly a year later, Ralek returned to Japan for his second MMA fight and again was victorious, this time defeating Gahdzhiev Alavutdin with an armbar from the mount. These two bouts led to a highly anticipated matchup with Kazushi Sakuraba, where again the Los Angeles native left “The Land of the Rising Sun” with the victory. That was the last time Ralek would fight under MMA rules, until now. Ralek is the third son of Rorion, the nephew of Royce, Rickson, and Royler Gracie and received his black belt from Grand Master Helio Gracie. The Gracie Family is famous for putting Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu on the map around the globe.
Since joining the Bellator MMA roster, you would be hard-pressed to find a fighter who has been involved in more exciting matchups than Hisaki Kato. Nicknamed “The Japanese Mouseketeer,” the 34-year-old French-Japanese competitor has finished Joe Schilling on two separate occasions and was involved in what many called a “Round of the Year” candidate during his lone Bellator MMA loss against Melvin Manhoef in 2015. Now, Kato sets his sights on Gracie, looking to nullify the Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu of his Jan. 21 foe.
The two other match-ups on the main card feature a featherweight bout between Georgi Karakhanyan (26-6-1) vs. Emmanuel Sanchez (13-3) and a lightweight bout between Derek Campos (17-6) vs. Derek Anderson (14-2, 1 NC).
Check out the full fight card below along with a preview of the event.
Main Card (Spike)
Light Heavyweight Main Event: Tito Ortiz (18-12-1) vs. Chael Sonnen (28-14-1)
Welterweight Co-Main Event: Paul Daley (38-14-2) vs. Brennan Ward (14-4)
Middleweight Main Card Bout: Ralek Gracie (3-0) vs. Hisaki Kato (7-2)
Featherweight Main Card Bout: Georgi Karakhanyan (26-6-1) vs. Emmanuel Sanchez (13-3)
Lightweight Main Card Bout: Derek Campos (17-6) vs. Derek Anderson (14-2, 1 NC)
Preliminary Card (MMAMad)
Featherweight Preliminary Bout: Chinzo Machida (4-2) vs. Jamar Ocampo (2-0)
Heavyweight Preliminary Bout: Jack May (8-3) vs. Dave Cryer (11-2)
Featherweight Preliminary Bout: Henry Corrales (12-3) vs. Cody Bollinger (19-6)
Middleweight Preliminary Bout: Kevin Casey (9-5-1, 2 NC) vs. Keith Berry (15-13)
Welterweight Preliminary Bout: Guilherme “Bomba” Vasconcelos (8-3) vs. John Mercurio (8-7)
Welterweight Preliminary Bout: Gabriel Green (3-0) vs. Jalin Turner (2-2)
Catchweight Preliminary Bout: Christian Gonzalez (2-0) vs. Daniel Rodriguez (2-0)
Lightweight Preliminary Bout: Jacob Rosales (4-2) vs. Ian Butler (3-2)
Welterweight Preliminary Bout: Johnny Cisneros (9-5) vs. Curtis Millender (9-3)
Lightweight Preliminary Bout: Mike Segura (4-4) vs. Tommy Aaron (2-1)
Bantamweight Preliminary Bout: Rob Gooch (4-3) vs. James Barnes (6-2)
Flyweight Preliminary Bout: Rebecca Ruth (6-2) vs. Colleen Schneider (10-7)